Rummanah Aasi

Description: Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Review: I was not the biggest fan of the Grisha Trilogy, but I was fascinated enough by the world that Leigh Bardugo created that I wanted to pick up the Six of Crows duology. I am so glad that I did because it is fantastic and exceed all of my expectations. Six of Crows made my favorite list last year and the sequel, Crooked Kingdom is on my favorite for this year. If I could categorize Six of Crows, I would label it as a fantasy heist story. Crooked Kingdom still has the adrenaline rush, humor, and heart touching moments as Six of Crows, but it has a classic revenge story vibe to it. You definitely need to read Six of Crows before you pick up Crooked Kingdom in order to orientate yourself in the world and get to know the characters.
  Picking up where Six of Crows ended, a last-minute double-cross left Kaz and his gang in a tight spot. One of their team members is captured, they never got their money, and, thanks to their new companion, a highly sought-after Grisha, they are desperate to stay out of sight. This of course doesn't stop the ruthless and determined Kaz Brekker who comes with plan after plan to retrieve their lost member and swindle a vicious merchant out of his money and most importantly his reputation.
 Bardugo is so skillful with her world building that Ketterdam becomes a real place and character in the series and she does so seamlessly without resorting to info dumping. There were many times I was at the edge of my seat as Kaz got himself cornered and wondered how he would get out of it. Normally, I can easily see what characters will do, but in Crooked Kingdom I couldn't keep track of the twisty plot and finally just gave up to watch it all unfold. Like Six of Crows, the book is told from multiple point of views where each character gets to shine. The cast is diverse, brilliant, flawed, and incredibly endearing. We see these characters at their worst and their vulnerabilities shine through but also their best. While enjoying the roller coaster ride that is the plot, we see growth and redemption for these misfits.
 While Crooked Kingdom does tie up some loose ends, there are a few threads that are left tantalizingly open for a possible continuation in case Bardugo wants to return to this world. I really hope she does because I did not want this book to end. If you were lukewarm about the Grisha Trilogy like I was, I definitely urge you to pick up this duology. It is Bardugo at her best and I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeves in the future.

Rating: 5 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong violence and some strong language in the book. There are mentions of human trafficking including being sold to sex slavery. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: Curse Worker series by Holly Black, Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima, The Reader by Traci Chee
3 Responses
  1. I liked these better than the Grisha Trilogy too. And my book club really liked the first one. Great characters.

  2. Kindlemom Says:

    I'm so glad to hear you say that you loved this despite not being a fan of her first series. I liked the first book in the Grisha but I didn't love the second so maybe there is still hope for me for this series? I'll definitely try it. Great review!

  3. I listened to the audiobook back in 2015 for the first book, but I still haven’t picked this one up. What is wrong with me? I will add it to the list for 2018. Wishing you a joyous holiday season. See you back in 2018.

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